CCMB chief bats for mass vaccination to contain COVID

Strongly endorsing the phased vaccination introduced by the Central government across the country to control the COVID-19 pandemic, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) director Rakesh Mishra has advised those on the list to take it without hesitation because there is no doubt about the “safety” aspect.

“There is no reason not to take the vaccine. This is the right time to get inoculated when the virus is seemingly weak and spreading less. We should hit when the enemy is weak or we will be giving a chance to the virus to resurrect itself in more dangerous forms. Other than the social vaccine of physical distancing, hand hygiene and face masks, a vaccine is the game changer, even if its potency is 50%,” asserted Dr. Mishra, in an exclusive interaction.

Emergency provisions

Vaccine approvals have been based on emergency provisions given in light of the prevailing situation.

It means they are for emergency usage and not general usage as has been made clear by the regulatory authorities. Even though we still do not know how long it will help, a vaccine in the current situation can control the disease, he said.

The director expressed disappointment over the kind of debate on the vaccination programme and pointed out that the successful completion of phase one and phase two has shown the vaccines to be safe and to be triggering immune response.

“Phase three trials will be about protection and no one knows how long it will be. I am only going by the data in public domain and even the Serum Institute vaccine study is mostly based on European population which is okay in a pandemic situation,” he said.

‘Turning the tables’

Dr. Mishra affirmed that even a few months of protection against the coronavirus post vaccination will “turn the tables”.

“We can keep a check on the virus spread if more people are vaccinated and any new outbreak can be controlled with effective tracing and testing,” he said.

The government, regulatory authorities and vaccine-making firms have put their reputations at stake with hundreds of crores of rupees being spent to inoculate the population, he observed, adding that there is no need to have any apprehensions since the adverse reactions, so far, are minimal considering more than 10 lakh have been vaccinated until now.

As per protocol

Moreover, the vaccines being offered have been made on established technology platforms, so even those with co-morbidities and the aged should take the vaccine when it is offered as per the government established protocols.

“Any person should take the vaccine as per system as there is nothing to worry. Caution has been advised for certain sections as an additional safety valve. It is not good to take any chance based on previous infection or any antibody test as the person could become the platform for further transmission and perhaps even potent mutations later,” he explained.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 1:27:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ccmb-chief-bats-for-mass-vaccination-to-contain-covid/article33662454.ece

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